In 2011, Kuwait University became the country’s biggest single client for construction services, awarding $1bn in construction deals. By September 2012, the university had already awarded five contracts worth $733m since January. According to regional projects tracker MEED Projects, a further $1.4bn of construction contracts are expected in 2013.
Although it takes the name Kuwait University, the university authority effectively acts as a ministry of higher education and oversees all new state university projects in the country. Most of the construction packages on offer are for the new Sabah al-Salem University City. The campus will be located at Shadadiyah, which is 20 kilometres west of Kuwait City.
The biggest contract awarded to date in 2012 is the estimated $350m deal secured by the local Copri Construction Enterprises for infrastructure packages A5 and B5 on the multibillion-dollar Shadadiyah campus.
Most of the contracts for infrastructure and utilities have been assigned and the authority is now focusing on awarding deals for the construction of specialist college buildings, including the college of social sciences, a new college of law and sharia, and administrative buildings. A major new college of arts is also planned, for which construction contracts are due in 2013.
When completed, the campus will comprise more than 25 faculty buildings, as well as a 600-bed hospital, car parks for some 32,000 vehicles, dormitories, sports facilities and auditoriums.
Despite administrative delays, the Sabah al-Salem project has so far been one of the easiest to pass. The project is not scheduled for completion until 2025, so there should be plenty of contracts, from landscape gardening to building construction, awarded over the next decade.
Major new Kuwait University projects are announced through the Kuwait Gazette, and follow the model of request for qualification, request for proposal and announcement of invitations to bid. The authority also opens bids publicly.